Hey everyone! It’s time to kick off another exciting tour. TBR and Beyond Tours is so excited to be hosting the book tour for The Boy, The Wolf and the Stars by Shivaun Plozza. Make sure to check out the other blogs on the tour schedule (listed below)!
I was lucky enough to get to start off this tour with an interview with the author, Shivaun Plozza.
Congratulations on your new book! Do you have any celebrations plans for the release of The Boy, The Wolf and The Stars?
I’m having a virtual launch with The Little Bookroom (it’s the oldest children’s bookshop in the world!) and a few more online events. On the day of release, I’ll hopefully share a meal with family (depending on current restrictions of course) and give my cat, to whom the book is dedicated, lots of cuddles. It will be bittersweet, given I can’t drop into any stores and see the book on shelves, but I’ll do my best to enjoy it as much as possible.
You’ve written books in the Young Adult category, what made you decide to write something middle-grade and do you think you’d like to write more in this category?
I actually started writing this book before I started Frankie and Tin Heart, it just took me longer to finish it! I’ve always been an avid reader of fantasy, children’s fantasy in particular, and knew I would someday write fantasy for a middle-grade readership. I enjoyed it so much. I loved creating a new world (drawing maps and character sketches and inventing creatures!) and I loved constructing Bo’s voice. I will definitely be writing in this genre and for this age group again.
Can you tell us a little about the book that someone just looking at the synopsis might not know?
I think there’s more humor in there than the synopsis implies. There are excerpts from The True Histories of Ulv authored by one of my favourite characters, the Scribe, who is an eccentric seer obsessed with owls, and lots of other comical characters and interactions. I’ve always enjoyed injecting humour into my writing; I think it’s especially important for middle grade.
The cover for The Boy, The Wolf and The Stars is simply stunning. Did you have any input in this and what did you think of the finished look?
It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? My editor asked what direction I wanted to take the cover so I sent her some of the images I had used in my mood board as well as recent covers I had admired. Luckily, we were on the same page and both wanted an illustrated cover that had a strong spooky factor while also highlighting the breathless excitement of the quest. I really couldn’t have asked for a better cover.
If you could describe the book in only five words, what would they be?
Be afraid of the dark.
How hard has it been trying to promote a new book during the pandemic?
So hard *sigh*. It’s such a shame that I can’t visit bookstores, do in-person school visits and travel to the US (I live in Australia) to promote. Part of what makes being an author such a great job is meeting readers face to face. So having that ripped out from under me has been hard, I’m not going to lie. Releasing a book in the US when you’re a nobody from Australia is hard at the best of times so right now it’s … awful! On the positive side, it’s been heartening to see people banding together to support authors through this, doing everything they can to make each book release as enjoyable as possible given the circumstances.
What were your favourite stories as a child?
I was obsessed with the Moomin books as a kid—I desperately wanted to go on adventures with Snufkin. Jansson wrote those books as an antidote to tumultuous events in her life and in the world so I’ve been thinking a lot about those books recently, about how important the magic of story worlds can be for children who need to escape into something warm and comforting. I feel like that’s going to influence me moving forward.
Any middle-grade books that you would recommend to our readers?
So many! I’ll stick to three recent reads that I’ve loved. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, White Fox by Chen Jiatong, and the Children of the Dragon series by Rebecca Lim
-ABOUT THE BOOK –
A boy and his pet fox go on a quest to find a wolf who has eaten all the stars in the sky before the Shadow Witch destroys the stars and removes good magic from the world forever.
Long ago, the land of Ulv was filled with magic. But that was before a wolf ate all the Stars in the night sky, ridding the world of magic and allowing Shadow Creatures, beasts made of shadow and evil, to flourish. Twelve-year-old Bo knows the stories but thinks the Stars and the wolf who ate them are nothing more than myths—until the day Bo’s guardian, Mads, is attacked by a giant wolf straight from the legends. With his dying breath, Mads tells Bo that Ulv is in danger and the only way to prevent the Shadow Creatures from taking over is to return the Stars to the sky.
And so Bo—accompanied by his best friend, a fox called Nix, a girl named Selene who’s magic is tied to the return of the Stars, and Tam, a bird-woman who has vowed to protect Bo at all costs—sets off on a quest to find the three magical keys that will release the Stars. But Bo isn’t the only one who wants the Stars, and the friends soon find themselves fleeing angry villagers, greedy merchants, and a vengeful wolf. And all the while, an evil witch lurks in the shadows and time is running out.
-BOOK TOUR DATES-
dinipandareads – Blogger’s Choice
onemused – Review
Betweenfoldedpages – Blogger’s Choice
BooksDramas&More – Blogger’s Choice
pagcturncr – Review & Top 5 Reasons to Read The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars
The Book Dutchesses – Blogger’s Choice
wineandreadwithbri – Review & Favourite Quotes
The Review Booth – Blogger’s Choice
Mella’s Musings – Review & Favourite Quotes
Balancing Books and Beauties – Blogger’s Choice
Reading Stewardess – Blogger’s Choice
The Wandering Wordsmith – Blogger’s Choice
Rajiv’s Reviews – Blogger’s Choice
TheBookDemocracy – Review
-ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Shivaun Plozza is an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. Her debut novel, Frankie, was a CBCA Notable Book and won a number of awards, including the Davitt Awards and a commendation from the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her second novel, Tin Heart, sold in three foreign territories, received two starred reviews, and was nominated to ALA’S Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Her debut middle-grade novel, The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars, is forthcoming in 2020 from HMH Books for Young Readers and Penguin Random House Australia. She is a frequent contributor to anthologies, and when she is not writing she works as an editor and manuscript assessor.
If you are interested in signing up with us for future book blog tours, be sure to check out TBR and Beyond Tours.